Kudroli Shree Gokarnatheshwara Temple
|Major festivals||Maha Shivaratri, Navrathri, Deepavali, Dasara, Sri Narayana Jayanthi|
The Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, otherwise known as Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatha Kshetra, is in the Kudroli area of Mangalore in Karnataka, India. It was consecrated by Narayana Guru. It is dedicated to Gokarnanatha, a form of Lord Shiva. This temple was built in 1912 by Adhyaksha HoigeBazar Coragappa.
The temple is 2 km from the centre of Mangalore city. The temple has Gopuram (tower like structure) decorated with murals of various gods and goddesses. Murals depict scenes from Hindu epics and legends.
The Billava community traditionally warriors(chieftans/ soldiers specialized in archery in the army) and local medics tired of the prejudices of society in the field of religion wanted to carve a niche (a place of their own liking in terms of spiritual offerings) for themselves in the realm of spirituality. It is in such a scenario that the community found a messiah in Narayana Guru to guide them in this spiritual quest. Narayana Guru with his knowledge and experience in spirituality and with no prejudices became the ideal guide and guru for the billavas to help them build a temple of Lord Shiva
Learning about the work undertaken by Narayana Guru, through his temples in Kerala, a prominent Billava leader Adhyaksha H. Coragappa visited Shri Narayana Guru in 1908.
Adhyaksha HoigeBazar Coragappa was a very well-known businessman in Mangalore, renowned for his integrity and philanthropy. He owned a large tile factory in Hoige Bazaar where he had his business offices. The tile factory was called HAMIDIAH Tile Works (Est in 1905). Shri Coragappa also conducted extensive trade in the 1900s up to the Second World War, with business enterprises in the Middle East, Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, trading in Mangalore tiles, copra, spices and other natural products. He was a very wealthy businessman who was also honoured by King George V for his philanthropic work.
An additional reason for Shri Coragappa to undertake the trip was that his son-in-law H. Somappa was very ill. Adhyaksha Coragappa went to Shri Narayana Guru for his blessings to cure his son-in-law. The Gokarnath temple pond in Kudroli had a marker in marble in memory of H. Somappa. In the "modernization" of the temple this plaque was thrown away and the history of the temple thereby suppressed by vested individuals. This desecration is not forgotten and people losing elections happened after this terrible act.
The samadhis of H. Coragappa, H. Somappa along with their deceased family members lie with appropriate markers in the family plot in Gori Gudde (cemetery) in Attavar, Mangalore. Adhyaksha Coragappa was also a great devotee of Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri and Bhagawan performed several miracles at the home of Adhyaksha Coragappa on Goodshed Road in Bunder. The first meeting of Bhagawan Nityananda and Adhyaksha Coragappa is described in the book Avadhoot Bhagawan Nityananda, on page 31. The book is authored by Swami Vijayananda of Nityananda Dhyana Mandira, Bevinakoppa.
It is an astonishing fact, that given the close connection that the Supreme Dattatreya Avadhoot Bhagawan Nityananda had with Adhyaksha Coragappa, the authorities of the Gokarnath Temple never installed a statue of Bhagawan Nityananda in the temple premises.
Shri H. Somasunder, Adhyaksha Coragappa's son was the president, during whose tenure effort was put into addressing temple matters and bringing the temple to prominence. Today HS Sairam, Adhyaksha Coragappa's grandson is the president and continues this legacy and vision of Shree Adhyaksha Coragappa to help spirituality empower and enable masses
Narayana Guru visited Mangalore in 1908 after accepting the invitation of Adhyaksha Coragappa. After visiting, Narayana Guru selected the place in Kudroli while riding in a horse-drawn coach provided by Adhyaksha Coragappa. With the blessings given by Shri Narayana Guru to Adhyaksha Coragappa to commence work, smooth progress in the temple's construction was ensured.
Gokarnanatha Kshethra, Mangalore, foundation stone was originally laid by the couple Siri Amma Poojarthi and Chennappa Poojary in 1908. They were foster parents of Coragappa Poojary. Chennappa Poojary is the son of Ugga Poojaary who was responsible to build Brahma Baidarkala Garadi Kshethra, Kankannady, Mangalore in the year 1882. Later the divine Shiva Linga was consecrated by Narayana Guru in Gokarnanatha Kshethra.
Narayana Guru formally consecrated the temple in February 1912 with the establishment of sacred Shiva Linga, which was brought by him. He named this place as Gokarnanatha Kshethra. Narayana Guru advocated that all God's creation had the right to worship the Almighty and preached that people irrespective of the caste, creed or religion must worship one divine force, known by different names.
As per the Guru's advice, idols of Ganapathy, Subramanya, Annapoorneshwari, Bhairava, the Nava Grihas (Lords of nine planets), Shanishwara and Krishna are installed at the Kshethra. This has helped devotees worship at all these sannidanams (abodes) and seek blessings and solace for their problems. Not only did Adhyaksha Coragappa donate the land needed for the Kshethra, in addition he was also chosen as the first administrative head of the temple. As per Adhyaksha Coragappa's will only a member of his family can become the administrative head as the vision with which the temple was established can be carried forward and not lost. The belief is that the founders will and wish needs to be carried forward to prevent "dhosha" (both of narayan guru's will by entrusting the temple responsibility to the founder and the founder's). So till date Adhyaksha Coragappa's family members have been leading the temple administration with equal support from many distinguished members of the community such as Janardhan Poojary (Former Union Minister and Congress President) (Renovation Mastermind), Vishwanath (BNS bar), Chandrashekar (SCS group), Damodar Suvarna (Roopa Hotel), Jaya C Suvarna to name a few
Shri Somasunderam, son of Coragappa (President of Kudroli temple), and Vishwanath (BNS bar) (President Development committee) discussed the possibility of renovating the temple with Janardhan Poojary (Former Union Minister and Congress President). It was then decided that the temple commitee would go to the people to raise funds. It was here that Janardhan Poojary earned the title "Renovation Mastermind". Rallies were organized across the country focusing mainly on Dakshina Karnataka, Udupi and Mumbai areas. Janardhan Poojary was a part of many such rallies and in one such rally in Dakshina Karnataka, the story goes that a person wearing shorts walked upto Janardhan Poojary and gave him 5 paise as his contribution to the development work. Janardhan Poojary astonished took the money. After the speech of Janardhan Poojary people tried to search for this person but no one could trace him. Some believe that it was Lord Shiva Incarnate who blessed this collection of funds by the way of this man in shorts.It is believed that after this incident funds started pouring in. The people just came forward and contributed to their temple. It was one great movement that showed the strength of the masses. This temple started of with one mans vision - founder H Coragappa and today with the guidance of the eminent members of the community and temple committee what stands is the love, effort and sweat of the masses who contributed in their very special way to make the current Gokarnanatheshwara temple a reality. Thus this temple is truly a temple by the people, of the people and for the people (the vision of H Coragappa - founder, to empower the masses)
Sthapadi K. Dakshinamoorthy was the architect who designed and built the present temple in the Chola style of architecture from its original Kerala style. The new gopuram is 60 feet in height and very beautiful. The renovated Gokarnanatha Kshethra was inaugurated by the former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, shortly before his assassination during an election rally. A marble statue of Narayana Guru was erected at the entrance of the temple in 1966 and a crown studded with precious gems was given by the devotees later. It's estimated the renovation cost Rs. 1 crore, and now it has become one of the largest temples in Mangalore.
Later in the year 2007 Bhagwaan Hanumaan Mandir was built in the Gokarnanatha Kshethra premises at the entrance. Bhagwaan Hanumaan Mandir in turn adds beauty to the Kshethra.
The temple observes many festivals. Maha Shivaratri, Krishnashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Nagara Panchami, Deepavali, Navaratri, Sri Narayana Jayanthi are celebrated with traditional gaiety and splendour. It has worshipers from all over the world. The temples branches are in Mulki, Udupi and Katpady.
The birthday of Sri Narayana Guru is ceremoniously followed. The Kshethra also follows the ritual of feeding devotees who visit it daily.
Community Sri Satyanarayana Pooja, Sri Shani Pooja, free mass marriages and distribution of scholarship to deserving students are traditions, too. Today, the Kshethra attracts devotees from all religions and communities. The Billava community has come of age. The Kshethra can be rightly called the melting pot of all religions symbolising unity in diversity.
The dasara festival is celebrated with much grandeur. The dasara celebrations of this temple is popularly called Mangalore Dasara. Mangalore Dasara was started by B.R.Karkera.
In addition to idols of Sharada Matha and Maha Ganapati, life-size idols of Nava Durgas are installed in the premises in an attractive way during Navaratri. All religious rites are observed for the entire period. Tableaux form a special part of the festivities and are taken around the main thoroughfares of Mangalore.
Mangalore Dasara is celebrated in a very spectacular way by worshiping the idol of Ganesh, Adhi Shakthi Maatha, Sharada Maatha, Navadurgas such as Shaila Puthri Maatha, Brahmachaarini Maatha, Chandrakaantha Maatha, Kushmaandini Maatha, Skanda Maatha, Kathyaahini Maatha, Maha Kaali Maatha, Maha Gowri Maatha and Siddhi Dhaathri Maatha. All these idols are grandly worshiped for nine days of navarathri. On the tenth day, these idols are taken in the grand procession of Mangalore Dasara throughout the city; the procession returns to Gokarnanatha Kshethra on the next day morning where all the above idols are immersed in the lake inside the temple premises.
This temple is situated in Kudroli area (about 5 km from the City Bus Stand) in the city of Mangalore.
Shri Janardhan Poojary performed Urul seva (rolling around the temple) so that Sonia Gandhi could be cured, and she could win the General elections of 2014. Since Shri Poojary is very much part of the administration of this temple, it would appear that the temple administration has injected politics into religion.
Shri Poojary had widowed, Dalit women as archakas. This would be reformist, except the women were not competent to perform puja and after a short time the archakas ran away, exposing the whole exercise as a political gimmick. In an interview Janardhan Poojary admitted that he is dictatorial and takes decisions without consulting anyone.
- The information is referred from the original record of the Gokarnanatha Kshethra.
- Kudroli Sri Gokarnatheshwara temple
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